Ljubljana in the 18th and 19th centuries

The establishment of Academia philharmonicorum

The year 1701 saw the establishment of Academia philharmonicorum, one of the first musical associations of the kind outside Italy. The honorary members of the Philharmonic Society, Academia philharmonicorum's immediate successor, were the composers Josef Haydn, Ludwig van Beethoven and Johannes Brahms, and the violinist Niccolo Paganini. One of the Society's conductors in the years 1881 to 1882 was Gustav Mahler.

Ljubljana under Napoleon's rule

The 18th century saw numerous manufactories grew up in Ljubljana, but economically the city was still mainly important as a transit point. Under the French occupation between 1809 and 1813 Ljubljana was the capital of the Illyrian Provinces, Slovenian became one of the official languages, and the first college was opened in Ljubljana. Back under the Austrian rule, Ljubljana hosted the 1821 Congress of the Holy Alliance, which was participated by several European rulers and was supposed to hold the awakening peoples back from endeavouring to achieve political freedom and constitutionality. To commemorate the Congress, one of the city's main squares was named Congress Square (Kongresni trg).

Prešeren's times and later

In the first half of the 19th century the appearance of Ljubljana changed considerably. The banks of the Ljubljanica river were tidied up, and several stone and iron bridges were built across the river. In that period, the greatest Slovenian poet, France Prešeren, lived and worked in Ljubljana. The year 1849 saw the first train arrive from Vienna, and eight years later the railway connecting Ljubljana to Trieste was constructed. The population amounted to 22,593 in 1869. The 1860s saw the foundation of the Slovenian Society. Ljubljana became the cultural centre for all Slovenians. In 1895 it suffered a devastating earthquake, after which it was rebuilt mostly by Austrian and Czech architects. Several new streets and a large number of Art Nouveau-style buildings were constructed.